FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Cameroon have done much to put African football on the map. In their debut world finals appearance at Spain 1982, the Indomitable Lions acquitted themselves well, playing out goalless stalemates with Peru and Poland and holding eventual tournament winners Italy to a 1-1 draw, though it was not enough to prevent them going out in the group phase. Eight years later in Italy the Cameroonians put together a ground-breaking run, beating defending champions Argentina in the Opening Match and going on to become the first African side to reach the quarter-finals, thanks in no small part to Roger Milla’s finishing skills. Cameroon have struggled on the big stage since then, however, succumbing to first-round exits at USA 1994, France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. They also suffered an agonising failure in the preliminaries for Germany 2006, missing a stoppage-time penalty in the final and decisive qualifier against Egypt, a miss that cost them a place at the finals.
The retirement of the inimitable Samuel Eto’o from international football in the wake of Brazil 2014 has left a very large gap to fill in the front line. The responsibility of leading the team is now shared by defender Nicolas Nkoulou, midfielder Stephane Mbia and the forwards Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Vincent Aboubakar and Benjamin Moukandjo.
In charge of the Indomitable Lions since 2013, German coach Volker Finke enjoyed a relatively modest playing career, though there can be no doubting his coaching pedigree. Having started out in Germany’s lower leagues in the mid-1970s, he went on coach in the Bundesliga and Japan, developing his considerable tactical know-how and man-management skills in the process.
7 - the number of times Cameroon have qualified for the FIFA World Cup, a record for an African side.
The former stars
Roger Milla, Marc-Vivien Foe, Rigobert Song, Thomas Nkono, Samuel Eto’o